Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Colgate Is Trying to Patent Caffeinated Toothbrushes

There are few drugs more readily available to 21st century Americans than caffeine. It long ago made the jump from coffee and sodas into energy drinks and guarana-infused shots, and now the leg-jiggling alkaloid is worming its way out of your drinks and into your food via "energized” sunflower seeds and “extreme sport” jelly beans. The myriad marriages of snack and psychostimulant have become so widespread that the FDA announced earlier this month they would be investigating the “very disturbing” trend and its potential effects on children.

And now, documents suggest caffeine could show up somewhere even farther from the coffee cup: your toothbrush.

A patent application that recently became public record reveals the Colgate-Palmolive Company is researching technology that would allow chemicals to be embedded into the heads of standard toothbrushes and slowly released during use.

A three-month supply of caffeine could be embedded into the tongue-scraper on the back of a toothbrush, the application reads. So could doses of aspirin. Or benzocaine, for teething babies. Or, it expressly states, appetite suppressants. Colgate wants to patent a diet toothbrush.

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